Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage & Technology Discovery Center has soft open

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:06 PM EST
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COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s been years in the making, turning a series of old storefronts into an attraction that combines history with industry with hands-on learning.

“We’ve come to this point with the building renovation,” said Mike Wade, a Discovery Center volunteer. “That was a major effort early on, and we’re able to get the financing, the grants to carry that on. And here we are, we have a finished building basically.”

The Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage and Technology Discovery Center carries a complicated name for an attraction that does all those things at once.

“We’ll be teaching technology and using technology,” Wade said.

Showing machinery and other artifacts contributed to the center as a vehicle for talking about the area’s history, but also having hands-on displays like one demonstrating how water is pumped between reservoirs to generate power, or another with toy gears to mimic the giant ones nearby from a massive paper making machine.

“We are certainly under construction,” Wade said, gesturing to sections of the room still roped off. “But we felt we had enough going that kids could start touching things and learning things and their parents could start seeing what the rich history of this area was all about.”

Adding more and more as artifacts and volunteers become available.

“This soft opening is a nice stake in the sand to say we can do this, we’re doing it at this level,” Wade said. “Let’s learn from that and then move on to the next level.”

The center isn’t open full time yet, so visitors should check before heading over.

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